Worst Baby Sleep Advice Ever
You’re so exhausted, you’ll try almost anything to get baby to sleep. But some tips just aren’t worth it. Bumpies share the worst advice they’ve heard for putting baby into bed. Photo: Thinkstock / The Bump
“My mother-in-law told me, ‘She should be sleeping through the night by a week or two weeks old.’ Um, what?!” -- Jennifer B.
“I was told to keep my baby up during the day by poking her feet when she falls asleep, so she can sleep through the night.” -- Amanda
“I was told that my nine-month-old only needs 15-minute naps.” -- Lindsay S.
Baby is going to sleep a lot, day and night. "Sleep is so important for brain development." Says pediatrician Preeti Parikh, MD. "At the two-month checkup baby should still be sleeping through the majority of the day." Don't expect, or try to create, a regular sleep schedule for quite some time. Parikh doesn't even begin the conversation of sleep training until the four-month checkup. "Not every baby is the same," she says. "There are a lot of factors involved. It's about making sure they get sleep that they need."
“I was told to wake up baby to eat every few hours. I now swear I screwed up his sleep schedule because I was paranoid he wasn’t eating enough.” -- Stephanie H.
Until your newborn regains his birthweight, Parikh says you actually should wake him up if it's been four hours since the start of the last feed. For those first few weeks, babies eat every one and a half to three hours.
“Sleep when baby sleeps. Obviously, it’s true at night and at the beginning, but not when they get older. I never nap when my daughter naps -- I can't get anything done when she’s awake.” -- ClickMama
“‘He’ll sleep if he’s tired enough....’ Not without help, he won’t!” -- Sarah J.
“Someone told me if baby slept at 5 p.m., he wouldn’t sleep at night. He will!” -- Sap
“My mother-in-law keeps advocating that we give my baby rice cereal so that she’ll be ‘more full and happier and go longer between feedings.’ She tells me that, even though I keep reminding her that we’re not starting solids until baby’s six months old.” -- Starbuck
Introducing solids at six months is definitely the norm. But don't start just to try and make sleeping easier. Parikh says you should start introducing solids when baby gives you cues: when he shows interest in new foods and is able to keep his head up.
“My friend told me to give my newborn baby honey to make my son sleepy! (Honey is a no-no for babies!)” -- ali_bl-nov05
“My mother-in-law said that I should have a glass of scotch before I nursed so that my son would sleep through the night. (That’s dangerous!)” -- Beanie_mrt
“Give baby water to fill her stomach so she’ll sleep longer -- this was advice from my mother when my baby was a month old. Thanks, but no thanks, Mom.” -- SookieFrackhouse68
Alcohol, honey and water are all no-no's. According to pediatrician Jennifer Shu, MD, FAAP, alcohol is off-limits to baby, period. Honey can't be introduced until after one year, because it may contain spores of bacteria that can interfere with baby's immature digestive system. Water is okay after six months, but before that, it will only make her too full to drink enough breast milk or formula.
“Someone who was over at my house said, ‘He won’t ever learn to sleep because you’re too quiet when he sleeps. You need to make a lot of noise so he’ll learn to sleep through it.’ She said this during naptime, and I asked her to stop shouting because my son was sleeping.” -- SpiderSpray
Plus, more from The Bump:
Bedtime Routine for Baby
Baby Sleep Myths Busted
How Can I Help Baby Sleep?
See More: Sleep Problems , Baby Basics
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